Every woman understands the singular annoyance of a period. Two weeks out, there’s the crampy ovulation followed by rapidly dropping hormones that morph into an easily-angered, tired, hungry creature. Then, the actual week of menstruation is replete with more cramps, bloating, and fatigue. It’s like we as women get no reprieve.
As women get no reprieve. We’re either suffering from period-related drama or bracing ourselves for it. Who can blame us when we take off the first (and sometimes second) day of our period from working out to simply relax and binge?
Period Workouts Can Actually Feel GREAT
Taking Day 1 & 2 off was my credo for years. So imagine my surprise when I recently forced myself to work out on a Day 1. Midway through the workout I literally felt amazing. Invincible, even. Cardio was difficult initially because let’s face the facts, there’s no tired feeling like period tired (except pregnant tired). The fatigue literally feels like you could just lie down on any flat surface and nap; in fact, I’m convinced that the original concept behind THE FIRST 48 was a special on menstrual fatigue.
I pressed through a few minutes of feeling like I was going to cry…and then suddenly, it felt good. Killer good. I got that high, the workout high you work out for in the first place, except it was higher than normal. Then came the weights. Imagine the surprise to find I felt super strong and able to leap buildings in a single bound! I could lift ten pounds more than normal and squat ten pounds more than normal; I pressed 25 pounds more than normal. The best thing was that all of the cramping and bloating I dragged onto that Stairmaster was long gone halfway through cardio. I felt clear, happy, and the opposite of bloated. It was positively exhilarating. Had I been missing out on an undiscovered pleasure treasure all my life?
…And They’re Good For You
Turns out the answer is a big fat yes. Once I began researching period workouts, I discovered that experts aren’t just joking when they recommend workouts to alleviate cramps and bloating. Not only that, but many consider strength training to be easiest for women during the beginning of their period because their female hormones are the lowest they’ll be all month, making testosterone levels more dominant. This is why I experienced more of a pump and less of a burn. Incredible!
The Bottom Line
Period workouts are totally addictive and completely recommended. If you do nothing else at the start of your cycle, get in a hardcore workout. Hey, even if you workout for 15 minutes it’s better than nothing at all. You might still wake up that first full day in normal period mode, but if you can just make it to the gym, you’ll most likely find relief…and so much more.